New Ways Of Working And Managing


As everybody is surely aware by now, big things are afoot in how we think about work and management. Agile has spilled out of IT into the enterprise. Complex systems theory is finally shifting how we think. Safety culture is revealing the value in failure. Less widely known (yet), Open culture is flipping the hierarchy. As well there's ideas like servant manager, transformational leader, open space, invitational leadership, promise theory, sustainability, and more... They all aim for “better value sooner, safer, happier” as Jon Smart put it. The world seems to still lump it all under the term "Agile Enterprise". We simply call them the New Ways of Working, or Human Systems Agility

    Human: people, humanity, wholeness, culture, sharing, empathy, diversity, inclusiveness, egality, trust, integrity, authenticity, open, transparency, curiosity, learning, mastery, pride, empowerment, freedom, authorisation, servant manager, safety, wellbeing, health. [states]
    Systems: customer, value, flow, feedback, quality, lean, streams, iteration, networks, complexity, chaos, emergence, antifragile, shift left, teams, organisation, collaboration, ritual, sharing, resilience, human error, holistic, data, science. [artefacts]
    Agility: ambiguous, uncertain, iterate, increment, experiment, explore, observe, adjust, fluid, organic, improve, curious, embrace failure, fail fast, small, granular, simplify, flexible, pragmatic. [actions/adjectives]
    from our book

This thinking is transforming IT, enterprises, government, and society.

Its impact is far reaching enough to talk of it as a renaissance in thinking, a refresh or step change that comes only once or twice a century. This is not an exaggeration. We explore the social transformation a bit more here

This is leading to the new ways of work: iterative, incremental, experimenting, exploring complex systems.
Several groups exist to spread this message, including

These ways are displacing the ideas of big-bang projects; zero risk; certainty and accuracy; plan once execute perfectly; failure is not an option.
Our Latin motto is "Velocitas Per Qualitatem" : velocity through quality, the New Way Of Working. At its heart, the agile way is about being able to adjust and change in a constantly changing world. Faster, more efficient, higher quality work is a by-product of agility, not the goal. The goal is to meet the changing needs of our organisation faster, though iteration, increment, experimentation, and exploration. We help you build this culture, through attention to leadership, happiness, space, empowerment, community, and communications. We like using games.

At least as important, though, is New Ways Of Managing.
Too often, management views the transformationadvancement to New Ways as something done to improve the practitioner workforce, not to management. This can't be. For an organisation to change, the management must change. So we combine the two into the phrase New Ways Of Working And Managing, NWOWAM. It is cumbersome but we leave it like that to make a point. This is one of the biggest issues facing organisations moving to agile ways of working. Managers must understand and focus on empowerment, collaboration, agility, and flow. So we make NWOM a special focus for Teal Unicorn. We provide coaching and training to get there. Including in Vietnam, in Vietnamese.


We have developed the Unicorn Management Model to capture our ideas.

For much more information, see our new book, The agile ManagerImage

Our favourite reading on NWOWAM is listed here .

Watch our videos.

Come to our training.

For many more resources, visit our agile Managers' Club.

We would love you to be in our tribe of agile managers.
Rob and Cherry